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24th Mar 2022

Volodymyr Zelensky to address Dáil Éireann and the Seanad in April

Dave Hanratty

Volodymyr Zelensky Ireland

The Ukrainian President has called on people around the world to rally in the streets to show their opposition to the war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address both Houses of the Oireachtas next month.

Having accepted an invitation from the Ceann Comhairle, Zelensky will make his address directly to Irish politicians on Wednesday, 6 April at 10am.

It follows a series of virtual addresses made by Ukraine’s president to world leaders since the Russian invasion commenced one month ago.

Previously, Zelensky has appeared via video link before the UK House of Commons, the US Congress and other parliaments including France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Israel.

Speaking in his latest overnight televised address, Zelensky urged people from all over the world to speak up against the war.

“Come to your squares, to your streets, make yourselves visible and heard,” he said.

“Say that people matter, freedom matters, peace matters, Ukraine matters.

“The world must stop the war,” Zelensky added.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden will attend meetings of Nato, the G7 and the European Union in Brussels.

According to reports, Biden has assembled a team designed to determine a response should Russia engage in the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will also be in attendance, having flown back from America after testing negative for Covid-19.

The Taoiseach and President Zelensky have previously spoken via telephone, with Martin telling his counterpart that the entirety of Ireland supports Ukraine during its time of conflict.

On Tuesday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he expects the population of Ireland to increase by 1% in the coming weeks due to the influx of Ukrainian refugees arriving into the country.

Forecasting the weeks ahead, the Tánaiste referred to the “enormous crisis” and noted that “there will be tens of thousands of Ukrainians with us for a long time, if not indefinitely”.

Over 10,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland and have registered for international protection so far.

“We expect that number will rise to 20,000 by the end of the month and it’s reasonable to assume that it will probably hit something around 40,000 by the end of next month, although nobody can know for sure,” said Varadkar.

“So, what we’re seeing in the course of a few weeks is effectively a 1% increase in our population, only in the course of a few weeks.

“And that’s going to have serious impacts,” Varadkar continued.

“On education, on healthcare, on housing, on social protection, on public finances, even on things like greenhouse gas emissions; absolutely all our calculations change when your population increases by 1% or 2%, even in the course of a few weeks.”

Over 20,000 pledges of accommodation have been put forward by the Irish public to date.

Featured Image of Micheál Martin via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie